Bobby – Farewell Dear Friend


“Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
footprints in the sands of time;”

 Bobby departed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday, 05 Nov 11. Just two days after returning from the Bangalore celebrations he took ill with a virus infection and this led to further complications because of his cardiac and diabetic problems. In fact it was only Madhuri’s tremendous presence of mind and courage that revived him even then. Words cannot express the care Madhuri poured on him these last few weeks and months. Yet, in spite of her herculean and selfless effort, he never really recovered till he passed away yesterday.

Truly a Marut pioneer, amongst the first to be posted to Maruts, Bobby was a lovable, gentle soul whom it was our good fortune to have known. Blessed with an amazing sense of humour and immense common sense, he was a much sort after personality, whether at work, partying or on the golf course.

While returning from his funeral, I was wondering how most people would always remember Bobby for his excellent humour and his one liners. With him around a simple slip would be pounced on in a flash and one would have to pay the price. Yet, not once would there be any malice or humiliation, it was just plain innocent, intelligent humour. I also wondered how many would even know of just how wonderful a human being resided in that relatively pint sized frame. The young caddy who was sent to school, uniforms and books provided, also sent for vocational training like driving, opening of post office savings accounts out of the caddy money and help and assistance provided without anyone being any wiser – a simple, kind hearted Bobby that perhaps not many knew of. He always saw the good in others and was the one always there with soothing words when things were getting heated amongst friends. That is what set him apart from the rest of us and made him a great human being.

To Madhuri and Anirudh our deepest and heart felt condolences and our prayers that they weather their grief and move on boldly, as Bobby would have surely wanted them to.

Bobby – farewell and rest in peace.


9 Responses to Bobby – Farewell Dear Friend

  1. David Gunzenhauser says:

    While I never had the opportunity to meet or know Bobby, here is what I can say … This picture above, shows a kind, gentle, and loved man who resembles Rudy in many ways… If Anirudh is anything like his father (as I’m certain he is), Bobby was a great man to have in one’s life.

    If there is a way that Bobby can read our words, what I will say is, you have raised an amazing son and each day will bring the memories of you through him.

    For all of Bobby’s family and friends… I wish you the warmest wishes in this time. May the good memories of laughter and love be the energy that eases your sorry for the loss.

    Anirudh, my friend… words cannot express my saddness and sorrow for you…. take care of yourself and be strong…

    Rest in peace Bobby

  2. Nikunj says:

    Dear Anirudh,
    My heart goes out to your and your family. May his soul RIP and may God give you the strength and courage to take it in your stride.
    God bless.


  3. Milind Shankar says:

    We mourn the passing of Bobby Kasbekar, a wonderful human being: warm, generous, non-judgmental, funny, quick witted, a very fine sportsman, a gentleman in every way…

    But we also celebrate the life and times of this short, wonderful man, fighter pilot to the core. In the RSI golf club he had more friends, and was perhaps better known, than most other golfers. He always saw the funny side of life and seemed to have a limitless supply of jokes.We received his last sms joke on 2 Nov. That was Bobby, sharing a bit of laughter with his friends.

    Bobby together with Dara and Behram was our golf foursome. There was never a dull moment with Bobby around. We will miss Bobby.

    Madhuri was the perfect complement to Bobby, equally warm, friendly, quick witted and generous. Together they had a large circle of friends from all walks of life. Madhuri showed her mettle during the last few months. When Bobby became seriously unwell one night, Madhuri revived him and rushed him to hospital.

    Bobby was very proud of his son Anirudh. He told us of the curiosity, interest and knowledge Anirudh had of military affairs and how Anirudh would send him articles of such matters.

    Our heartfelt condolences to Madhuri and Anirudh.

    Farewell Bobby. If there is a heaven – I believe there is – Bobby is there because I hear laughter.

  4. Anirudh Kasbekar says:

    Than you all for your kind words.
    I have frequented this website for many months and always made it point keep my father updated on the matter that was published.

    He was always very interested in what went on here as the Air Force (along with the Marut) was the always the crowning glory of my father’s life for him.

    He spent his last days meticulously going through the Marut book ‘Spirits of the Wind’, and proudly sharing its contents with almost every visitor who came to meet him.

    I will continue to visit here in his memory.
    Thank you all again for your support.

    -Anirudh Kasbekar

  5. Dara says:

    Received on email from Air Cmde VK Murthy, the first Marut Boss.
    “What a sad news to hear this morning as I opened my mailbox….Bobby joined No 10 Sqdn at
    JAMNAGAR,when HF24 was inducted in IAF. During the formation he was of a great help to carry out odd jobs and he did it smilingly . He was a Jack of all trades and master of a Fighter Pilot. He carried out all the Missions during 1971 Indo-Pak war very successfully and a GREAT morale booster to the rest of the pilots with his quick wit and Humour.

    After a Gap of 40 yrs , I met him during MARUT Golden Jubilee Celeberations in June 2011 at HAL. Bangalore. We exchanged pleasant memories of UTTERLAI days and I found him still the same Bobby with smile and Humour minus hair at the top. What a nice GUY to leave so soon……..May his soul rest in Peace.

    My heartfelt condolences to his wife and Family, and pray God to give them strength and courage to face this calamity and recover fast to normal life.


  6. Unni Kartha says:

    Ma Kasbekar was fond of quipping that she had four sons.
    Patty, Bobby, Bingo and the youngest was ‘Me’, an adopted son, but her favourite.
    She spoke little, or nothing at all, about Patty (a civilian doc). But she spoke nonstop about the rest three of us, ‘they are three monkey’s in AF uniform’, she would comment.
    When I was being commissioned, Bobby cautioned me. ‘Keep your finger out’ he advised, ‘and keep your trap shut’. I immensely regret that I did not heed to his very perceptive and pertinent advice. The over active finger, and the ever open mouth, these often got me into trouble. Once he said to my CO, ‘Ground this bugger, he is a walking talking catastrophe. But when the weather is bad, or the going is tough, send him. He is the type who will come back and simply say DCO’. And that was the best and only citation that I have ever received in my life. Thank you Bobby Sir.

    Due to vagrancies of life, after Ma Kasbekar passed away, I did not keep in touch with Bobby, except once in a while when life’s journey bumped us head on. He was always a man of all seasons, wit and wisdom personified. I presumed that he would live forever. Hence seeing the obituary this morning came as a shock.
    I convey my heartfelt condolences, to Madhuri and Anirudh.

    Bobby Sir, bon voyage, keep everybody smiling, wherever you are.


  7. batrasc says:

    I knew Bobby from our days of flying training.

    Later in 10 and 220 Sqn. When 220 sqn moved from Pune to Jodhpur, it was Bobby who did all the spade work with railways to get the hassle free journey of Sqn move with equip, manpower and families. For families it was like a picnic. He was nicknamed as Train Commander. .Later during 71 ops at U’lai, he took care of food etc when both the sqns were living in city. His sense of humour was like stand up comedy.

    At Bangalore, we had a long talk and i never realised that it will be
    our last meeting.

    My heartfelt condolences Madhuri and Anirudh.

    Sudhir and Shobha

  8. behram j. d. says:

    bobby, milind,dara and i made up a tri weekly 4 ball the last 10 odd months. what better way to get to know another human than those 3/4 hrs on the course followed by breakfast. i knew bobby as a golfing member before too, but really grew close to him when chance brought me into his 4 ball. thats when i came to know the real bobby! a more decent, loving, happy and caring soul one seldom comes across, specially in the twilight of your life. i’m happy god had willed that we meet and spend some time together. i was so sure we would meet up again on the course once he had fully recouped…but it was not to be.

    my sincere condolences to the loved one left behind.

    RIP my friend…i shall add your name in the silent prayer i say on the course every morning.

  9. om bansal says:

    i got to know bobby only after i retired, settled down in pune and started golf, some 6 years ago. he was really funny, always ready with a laff or two, each and every morning. a good natural golfer, he hit straight, not long, but peculiar thing was that he never addressed the ball , just stand in general direction of the green and swing away, i think he took life as it came, one day at a time, knowing very well that he was living on lease, like all of us,and tried to take life in a jest, happy and make others happy. he was kind and very helpful, so many times did he showed me the way to university and deccan areas , to attend CASS lectures.very lovable soul with no malice and lots of stories from his stints in norway and pakistan.we missed him , all these months while he recuperated, hoping he will get back, alas, not to be, deep condolences to madhuri, who was very brave indeed and a pillar of strength, a woman of substance. RIP , our friend

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